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    Ex-Man Utd wonderkid Ravel Morrison left with huge bruise on arm after MMA training session with UFC star Lerone Murphy

    FAILING to make the grade at Old Trafford might have bruised his ego – but Ravel Morrison is now getting battered for real after starting MMA.The ex-Red Devils wonderkid is without a football club and showed off a huge bruise on his arm after beginning sessions in the octagon with UFC star Lerone Murphy.
    Ravel Morrison showed off his war wounds from MMA training
    Man Utd graduate Morrison has swapped the pitch for the octagon
    The midfielder last appeared for ADO Den HaagCredit: Getty
    Morrison cancelled his contract with Dutch side ADO Den Haag in January.
    And the 28-year-old has not been holding back in training, as he keeps fit with close pal and featherweight fighter Murphy.
    The midfielder is on the look-out for his 12th club since leaving Manchester United in 2012, having been tipped for greatness after making his debut aged 17.
    Morrison played in the same FA Youth Cup-winning side as Paul Pogba, but didn’t make the cut and was shipped out to West Ham nine years ago.
    Morrison has been in talks with Championship and LaLiga clubs as he bids to get back into first team action, following spells with Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, Ostersunds, Lazio and others.
    Huddersfield confirmed they were considering signing the Jamaica international.
    And last month he started training with Sheffield Wednesday with a view to a potential free transfer to aid the struggling Owls’ season.
    Sir Alex Ferguson lauded Morrison’s ability as a teenager and said he was on a par with club icons Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes at the age of 15.
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    The legendary United boss made the remark in a text sent to Rio Ferdinand who hosted Morrison on his YouTube channel in February.
    The former England defender revealed he was close to tears upon hearing Ferguson’s testimony.
    Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel FIVE: “Sir Alex Ferguson texted me this morning and said you was on a par with Scholes and Giggs at 15. He’s never seen anything like it.”
    BT Sport pundit Ferdinand then read out another message from Fergie which said: “Rio, my first and last impression of Ravel as a young lad was that he has always got time and space, always available to be on the ball, so unusual for a young lad of his age.

    “Give my regards to him please. Another thing about Ravel which I’ve always treasured, because no other young player who made their debut did this.
    “After the first game in the first team that he played, the next morning he came into my office and gave me a letter, thanking me for giving him his debut.
    “I was gobsmacked Rio. The boy had a good heart, he was just beaten by his background.”
    And Morrison opened up about his regrets saying he would change 90 per cent of his life if he could.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
    Ravel Morrison reveals he used to steal boots from Man Utd dressing room to sell and feed his family More

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    Ben Askren says ‘almost impossible to tell’ if Jake Paul is a good fighter as ‘level of his competition was so low’

    BEN ASKREN reckons it is ‘almost impossible to tell’ if Jake Paul is a good fighter because his level of competition ‘was so low’. Paul has won both his fights by knockout since turning pro in January 2020.
    Ben Askren reckons it is ‘almost impossible to tell’ if Jake Paul is a good fighterCredit: Getty
    YouTuber Jake Paul is 2-0 as a proCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    But those have come only against online rival ‘AnEsonGib’ and ex-NBA star Nate Robinson.
    His biggest challenge comes on April 17, against retired UFC welterweight Askren.
    And the former Olympic wrestler admitted he is still in the dark about what to expect, having seen Paul untested in his boxing career.
    Askren, 36, told The Metro: “We haven’t seen anything.
    “The level of his competition was so low that it was almost impossible to tell if he is actually good at this.
    “If there is one thing people respect about all fighters it’s the toughness to deal with adversity in battle and we have not seen that out of him.
    “I don’t think he was hit hard by either one of those guys. They were so incredibly terrible at boxing. So we haven’t seen anything out of him yet.”
    Askren was considered one of the best talents outside of the UFC before he finally signed with Dana White in 2018.

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    He divided opinions due to his wrestling-based style, and hung up his gloves after just one win and two losses in the UFC.
    But as Askren heads into his unprecedented boxing match with Paul, 24, he finds himself in an unusual position – as the more popular headliner.
    He said: “I didn’t realise how much people didn’t like Jake Paul until I tuned in and started listening to what people were saying about him.
    “At best for me, it’s like 50 percent positive comments and 50 percent negative comments.
    “That’s my persona. But everyone freaking hates Jake Paul.
    “One of the things you have to realise about prize fighting is that the more recognition and scrutiny you can bring to yourself, the faster you are going to move up the ranks.
    “When you look at the job, you have to look at all parts of the job. Is part of the job being good at fighting? Absolutely.
    “But a part of the job is also figuring out how to promote yourself so you can advance much quicker.”
    Watch Ben Askren train with legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach as ex-UFC star prepares for Jake Paul fight More

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    Anthony Joshua cleared to face Francis Ngannou but Eddie Hearn prefers two-fight boxing and UFC deal with Dillian Whyte 

    ANTHONY JOSHUA has been given the green light to fight Francis Ngannou – but Dillian Whyte is first in line for the UFC champion. Ngannou first set his sights on a boxing career aged 22 but, after moving to France, he instead embarked on an MMA career as it was easier to find fights.
    Anthony Joshua has been given the green light to fight UFC champ Francis NgannouCredit: Instagram
    Francis Ngannou is the current UFC heavyweight championCredit: Getty
    Fast-forward 12 years and Ngannou is the UFC heavyweight king after knocking out Stipe Miocic.
    But he has not given up hope of reaching the boxing summit, and recently called to fight Tyson Fury, 32 and Joshua, 31.
    AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn is on board and threw out the possibility of UFC legends Amanda Nunes or Cris Cyborg challenging Irish boxing champion Katie Taylor.
    Hearn told SiriusXM: “AJ wants to be the best, but he also wants to do different things once he meets his goals.
    “So a fight with Francis Ngannou isn’t impossible. Just like Katie Taylor vs Cyborg or Nunes, potentially.”
    Hearn last year had plans for Whyte, a former European kickboxing champion, to face Ngannou in a two-fight deal.
    It would have seen one bout in the ring and the other in the cage, as both have experience in the rivalling sports.
    Hearn even filmed an explosive online press conference between the pair, but it never aired as the UFC were not aware of the recording.
    Dillian Whyte was in line to fight Francis NgannouCredit: Dave Thompson Matchroom Boxing
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    The promoter has still not given up on the idea of the historic cross promotion alongside the UFC between Ngannou, 34, and Whyte, 32.
    Hearn said: “I love Francis NGannou. We almost had a presser with Dillian Whyte and him, but the UFC shut that down after we taped it.
    “We do have the footage, though. I would love to see a double matchup with Ngannou and Dillian Whyte.
    “One in the cage and one out of it. Ditto for Taylor and Nunes.”
    Anthony Joshua partners with Revolut to raise money for grassroots sport More

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    Anthony Joshua vs Francis Ngannou tale of the tape: How knockout artists would compare with UFC champ open to fight

    ANTHONY JOSHUA could one day share the ring with Francis Ngannou after his promoter refused to rule out a fight with the UFC’s heavyweight champion.The fearsome Ngannou claimed the UFC’s heavyweight throne last month with a brutal second-round KO victory over Stipe Miocic.
    How Anthony Joshua stacks up against Francis Ngannou
    UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou also wants to conquer the boxing worldCredit: Getty
    And in the weeks following his historic victory, the Cameroonian clubber has reiterated his desire to compete in boxing.
    Ngannou, 34, is open to blockbuster crossover bouts with Joshua and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who are set to meet one another in the summer.
    He told ESPN: “This is in the future, it’s somewhere, definitely. I’m going to box; I have to box in my career.
    “My main dream has always been the noble art and even though I deviated into MMA, which I love, I still have to fulfil something in boxing.”
    And Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn is open to making the bout, telling Sirius XM: “AJ wants to be the best, but he also wants to do different things once he meets his goals.
    “So a fight with Francis Ngannou isn’t impossible. Just like Katie Taylor vs [Cris] Cyborg or [Amanda] Nunes, potentially.”
    But how does the UFC’s first African heavyweight champion stack up against AJ?
    SunSport is on hand to give you all the details on a potential showdown between the pair.
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    Eddie Hearn has refused to rule out a showdown between Anthony Joshua and Francis NgannouCredit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
    Age
    Unified heavyweight champion Joshua has a significant advantage in the age department.
    AJ is the younger man at 31, while Ngannou is 34 going on 35.
    Experience
    Joshua has significantly more fights to his name than his UFC counterpart having taken to the ring 25 times.
    Ngannou, meanwhile, only has 19 professional mixed martial arts fights to his name.

    Physical
    Joshua may not be as physically imposing as The Predator, but he is the bigger man.
    The Olympic gold medallist stands at a whopping 6’6, while Ngannou comes in at 6’4.
    Ngannou does, however, have a marked weight advantage over AJ, weighing nearly TWO STONE more than the Brit.
    Anthony Joshua is two inches taller than UFC heavyweight champion Francis NgannouCredit: Instagram
    Joshua tipped the scales at 240lbs for his clash with Kubrat Pulev last December, while Ngannou weighed in at 263lbs for his rematch with Miocic.
    Despite being the shorter man, Ngannou also edges out Joshua in the reach department.
    The Batie brawler has an 83-inch reach while the taller Joshua has an 82-inch reach.
    Records
    Francis Ngannou nearly weighs two stone more than Anthony JoshuaCredit: Getty

    Joshua has only tasted defeat once in his illustrious career, losing to Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019.
    Ngannou, meanwhile, has three defeats on his mixed martial arts record, the most recent of which came at the hands of Derrick Lewis in July 2018.
    Joshua avenged his sole career loss in a rematch in December 2019, which he won via unanimous decision.
    Although Ngannou has yet to exact revenge on Lewis or Zoumana Cisse, he did level his series with Miocic in brutal fashion.
    Jon Jones vs Francis Ngannou worth $50m and ‘easily’ as big as a Floyd Mayweather fight, claims UFC coach More

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    Mike Tyson meets up with new UFC champ Francis Ngannou who rules OUT fight with legend but open to Fury and Joshua clash

    BOXING legend Mike Tyson has been snapped wearing Francis Ngannou’s UFC heavyweight title.Cameroonian Ngannou ripped the 265lb belt from Stipe Miocic’s clutches last month with a brutal second-round KO victory in the main event of UFC 260.
    Mike Tyson wears Francis Ngannou’s UFC heavyweight titleCredit: INSTAGRAM@FRANCISNGANNOU
    Francis Ngannou and Mike Tyson appeared to have a laugh during their latest meetingCredit: INSTAGRAM@FRANCISNGANNOU
    Shortly after his historic victory, the newly-crowned heavyweight king was invited to make a second appearance on the Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast.
    Ngannou, 34, accepted the offer and gave Iron Mike the chance to wear the belt during their meeting.
    The UFC’s first African heavyweight champion shared snaps of his latest meeting with Tyson and retired MMA star Brendan Schaub to his Twitter and Instagram pages.
    The posts’ accompanying caption read: “It’s always a great time with the legend @MikeTyson. New @hotboxinpodcast episode drops soon.”
    The ferocious Ngannou has drawn comparisons to a prime Tyson during his six-year stint in the UFC.
    And the Batie brawler is honoured to have had his name mentioned in the same breath as The Baddest Man on the Planet.
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    SunSport’s latest pound-for-pound UFC rankings
    He told TMZ: “Every time that they compared me to Mike Tyson, you know for me it’s just an honour that they can attach my name to somebody like Mike Tyson.
    “Growing up, hearing about Mike Tyson, even though I didn’t have a chance to see him fight because I was in a small village and we didn’t have a TV and stuff.
    “It was very hard for us to have access of those stuff but as soon as I had a chance I just go on YouTube and keep watching Mike Tyson tape and I was so impressed by him and was just dreaming to become like him.”
    The Predator wants to follow in Tyson’s footsteps by eventually entering the boxing world, although he has no intention of ever sharing the ring with the hall-of-famer.
    Francis Ngannou has no intention of ever fighting Mike TysonCredit: INSTAGRAM@FRANCISNGANNOU
    When asked if he’d box Tyson, he replied: “I don’t want to fight Mike Tyson, but I would like to fight another heavyweight boxer such as Tyson Fury.”
    He added: “This is in the future, it’s somewhere, definitely.
    “I’m going to box; I have to box in my career.
    “My main dream has always been the noble art and even though I deviated into MMA, which I love, I still have to fulfil something in boxing.”
    Francis Ngannou claimed the UFC heavyweight title with a brutal KO victory over Stipe MiocicCredit: Getty

    UFC fans are hoping Ngannou’s next outing will be a blockbuster showdown with former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
    But the mega-fight is being held up by an ongoing pay dispute between Jones and the UFC brass.
    The heavy-handed Ngannou has been offered a June rematch with fan favourite Derrick Lewis.
    But it’s understood he doesn’t want to perform a quick turnaround following a long and gruelling camp for his rematch with Miocic.
    Mike Tyson trains UFC star Francis Ngannou ‘for Tyson Fury fight’ More

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    Floyd Mayweather meets with Dana White as UFC chief says ‘Holy s*** WTF going on here?’ as boxing icon hints at MMA move

    FLOYD MAYWEATHER has teased a sensational switch to MMA after meeting up with UFC chief Dana White.It’s not the first time the retired undefeated boxing king has flirted with the idea of entering the octagon.
    Floyd Mayweather met with UFC boss Dana White and Rizin CEO Nobu SakakibaraCredit: Twitter
    Dana White hinted that somehting BIG was going downCredit: Twitter
    Last year the 44-year-old incredibly claimed he wanted to fight Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov in the same DAY.
    And while that appears unlikely to ever happen, the latest meet-up with White is a sign that something could be in the pipeline.
    White posted a photo on Twitter of him alongside Mayweather, writing: HOOOOOOOLY S**T!!!!!! WTF is goin on here.”
    Mayweather worked with White for his 10th-round stoppage win in a boxing fight against McGregor in 2017.
    Also in attendance was RIZIN CEO Nobu Sakakibara – the promotional company hosted his exhibition thrashing of Tenshin Nasukawa in 2018.
    It’s not known whether the two businessmen are involved in Mayweather’s scheduled exhibition scrap against YouTuber Logan Paul.
    Mayweather is set to face the social media star in a pay-per-view spectacle this year.
    In an interview with entrepreneur Rob Moore, the boxing legend was asked if he is fighting Paul, who is 0-1 as a professional.
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    Mayweather, 44, responded: “Name another boxer, besides myself, that’s more famous than Logan Paul?”
    The 50-0 icon then explained he could make a guaranteed $35million (£25m) to fight any regular boxer.
    But an exhibition extravaganza will earn him $65m more, as he projected he will make $100m (£72m) against Paul.

    Floyd Mayweather, 44, shows off speed and power as he trains with MONEY raining down ahead of $100m Logan Paul exhibition More

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    Eddie Hall responds after UFC icon Joe Rogan blasts ‘terrible’ boxing technique ahead of big Hafthor Bjornsson fight

    EDDIE HALL says he took ‘no offence’ after Joe Rogan slammed his ‘terrible’ boxing technique ahead of his fight with Hafthor Bjornsson.The British former strongman faces rival Bjornsson in September, in a fight billed as the ‘heaviest boxing match in history’.
    Eddie Hall takes ‘no offence’ after Joe Rogan slammed his ‘terrible’ boxing techniqueCredit: Instagram / @eddiehallwsm
    Legendary UFC commentator Joe RoganCredit: Getty
    In preparation, Hall uploaded videos of his training, but was hit with criticism by UFC commentator Rogan.
    But he responded on his YouTube channel: “I love Joe Rogan, I absolutely do love Joe Rogan
    “Look man, people can speculate, they can make assumptions, they can guess, they can do whatever they want, but I’m knocking Thor out.
    “There’s no doubt in my mind. So, people can say whatever they want.
    “I take no offence to Joe Rogan’s comments. He’s an experienced guy, he knows what he’s talking about, but he doesn’t know the full picture.
    “You look at a few clips, you can’t make assumptions from that.
    “It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, it doesn’t put me off. I hope it gives Thor more confidence, because he needs it.
    “He’s in deep trouble. And I’d still love to go on The Joe Rogan Show and tell him a story for everyone to hear.”

    The response comes after Rogan and and guest, CrossFit legend Mat Fraser, watched some footage of Hall’s recent training.
    He said: “That’s not good. Right away we’re seeing that we have a real problem. Yeah, this is terrible.
    “He’s very rudimentary, but also you see that his body is very stiff. Looking at him sparring there, he’s just not moving so good
    “This is super stiff. He’s throwing these punches with his arms. These are arm punches, almost like he shouldn’t be hitting things.”
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    Anthony Joshua cleared to face Francis Ngannou but Eddie Hearn prefers two-fight UFC and boxing deal with Dillian Whyte 

    ANTHONY JOSHUA has been given the green light to fight Francis Ngannou – but Dillian Whyte is first in line for the UFC champion. Ngannou first set his sights on a boxing career aged 22 but, after moving to France, he instead embarked on an MMA career as it was easier to find fights.
    Anthony Joshua has been given the green light to fight UFC champ Francis NgannouCredit: Instagram
    Francis Ngannou is the current UFC heavyweight championCredit: Getty
    Fast-forward 12 years and Ngannou is the UFC heavyweight king after knocking out Stipe Miocic.
    But he has not given up hope of reaching the boxing summit, and recently called to fight Tyson Fury, 32 and Joshua, 31.
    AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn is on board and threw out the possibility of UFC legends Amanda Nunes or Cris Cyborg challenging Irish boxing champion Katie Taylor.
    Hearn told SiriusXM: “AJ wants to be the best, but he also wants to do different things once he meets his goals.
    “So a fight with Francis Ngannou isn’t impossible. Just like Katie Taylor vs Cyborg or Nunes, potentially.”
    Hearn last year had plans for Whyte, a former European kickboxing champion, to face Ngannou in a two-fight deal.
    It would have seen one bout in the ring and the other in the cage, as both have experience in the rivalling sports.
    Hearn even filmed an explosive online press conference between the pair, but it never aired as the UFC were not aware of the recording.
    Dillian Whyte was in line to fight Francis NgannouCredit: Dave Thompson Matchroom Boxing
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    The promoter has still not given up on the idea of the historic cross promotion alongside the UFC between Ngannou, 34, and Whyte, 32.
    Hearn said: “I love Francis NGannou. We almost had a presser with Dillian Whyte and him, but the UFC shut that down after we taped it.
    “We do have the footage, though. I would love to see a double matchup with Ngannou and Dillian Whyte.
    “One in the cage and one out of it. Ditto for Taylor and Nunes.”
    UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou warns Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury he wants to box More